Brexit deal fails to boost business for UK firms in the EU

The Government’s post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union has failed to improve or expand UK firms over the last two years, a survey has found. In spite of claims the deal was “oven ready”, many businesses have raised concerns about compliance with new trading rules and being unable to increase sales with the bloc.

A survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has found that more than half of its members (56 percent) experienced difficulties complying with new rules for exporting goods.

Meanwhile, almost half (45 percent) said they had issues with trading in services.

Overall 77 percent of companies trading under the deal claimed it had failed to help with their expansion or increasing their sales.

The results prompted the BCC to present five recommendations to the Tories for “enhancing the agreement”, reported The Guardian.

The BCC’s director general, Shevaun Haviland, said: “Businesses feel they are banging their heads against a brick wall as nothing has been done to help them, almost two years after the TCA [trade and cooperation agreement] was first agreed.

“The longer the current problems go unchecked, the more EU traders go elsewhere, and the more damage is done.”

Many of the group’s members are small or medium-sized businesses, and drew attention to their problems with “administering EU rules on VAT, inconsistent application of customs rules, and new limits on business travel.”

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The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), reached two years ago between the UK and the EU, was a key part of Boris Johnson’s “oven ready” Brexit deal.

As part of the deal UK goods can avoid EU tariffs, however additional customs and regulatory checks and other “non-tariff barriers” are still applicable, as Britain opted to be outside the EU’s customs union and single market.

The TCA is due to be reviewed in 2026 following five years in operation, but the BCC wants the Government to make some changes immediately.

Ms Haviland added: “There are clearly some structural problems built into the TCA which cannot be addressed until it is reviewed in 2026.

“But as we set out in our report to Government there are some issues that do not need to wait on months of negotiations or major reviews to be fixed.”

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